Miami Civil Rights Lawyers
Fighting for Victims of Civil Rights Violations
Civil rights in America are grounded on the notion of equality. Occasionally, however, we experience injustice, whether it’s based on race, sexual orientation, disability, or religion. When your civil rights have been violated, leading to physical, psychological, and/or financial harm, you have the right to take legal action.
If you think you’ve been discriminated against in any way, a Miami civil rights lawyer can help you understand your legal options, explain how the law applies to your situation, and assist you in enforcing your rights. The lawyers at Fischer Redavid PLLC are here to help you find justice and closure when your civil rights are abused.
What’s Considered a Civil Rights Violation?
A civil rights violation is any abuse or denial of the basic rights you’re afforded as a resident of the United States. Examples of civil rights violations include housing and employment discrimination, racial profiling, harassment, police brutality, mistreatment by government officials, and violations of your right to free speech, freedom of religion, and the use of public facilities.
You may have a civil rights violation claim and could be eligible for a settlement if you can prove the following elements:
- First, the defendant must have been acting under the “color of law” doctrine. This means they had the legal authority and operated under this guise to infringe on your civil rights.
- Next, you must prove the violation through evidence pieces, like eyewitness statements, video footage, and your personal account of the incident.
- The other element is proof that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of your suffering, such as injuries, loss of a loved one, humiliation, and so on.
- Finally, you must have evidence of the damages you’re claiming to have suffered. Such evidence may include copies of medical reports or bills, proof of lost income, etc.
At Fischer Redavid PLLC, we help our clients build strong cases based on practical evidence and expert testimony. Our experienced attorneys know how to develop innovative, persuasive cases and fight for maximum compensation on behalf of those affected by civil rights violations.
Types of Civil Rights Violations
When your civil rights have been violated, you need to know what type of potential claim you have in order to determine your next steps. The process of filing a workplace discrimination lawsuit is much different from seeking justice after being injured due to police brutality.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common types of civil rights violations in the United States.
Discrimination at School & Work
Teachers and school officials are not allowed to harass, bully, or use corporal punishment on students. If you suspect that your child has been unfairly discriminated against by anyone at their school, then you may need to speak with a civil rights lawyer to end the abuse and seek justice.
The same goes for adults who are discriminated against at work. It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you because of your race, age, gender, age, disability, religion, or even political views. However, people are routinely overlooked for a promotion or get fired based on the color of their skin or whether they vote Republican or Democrat. If you have faced workplace discrimination, you could be entitled to take legal action against your employer or another party.
It is also illegal to discriminate against someone based on a protected class (race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, etc.) when renting or selling a home. Housing discrimination can take many forms, including refusing to rent or sell a house to someone because of their race, setting different terms or conditions for renting a dwelling because of someone’s religion, or falsely denying that an apartment is for rent based on someone’s gender identity.
Wrongful Arrest & False Imprisonment
Wrongful arrest occurs when a police officer or another law enforcement official restrains a person’s freedom of movement without just cause. False imprisonment involves holding a person against their will or taking someone into custody without legal authority or the individual’s consent.
Our attorneys can help you with wrongful arrest in two ways:
- First, we can help you seek financial compensation for your damages.
- Second, we can help you fight to make sure that the police are held accountable for their actions.
If you have been arrested and detained without probable cause, you may be able to sue the police department and possibly even the arresting officer or officers involved. To do this successfully, however, it is important that you have an experienced civil rights attorney by your side.
Use of Excessive Force
Excessive force is any action taken by a law enforcement officer that exceeds the bounds of proper police procedure or violates an individual’s constitutional rights. The Supreme Court has ruled that any use of force by law enforcement must be reasonable under the circumstances and conform to constitutional standards. In other words, if an officer uses more force than necessary to make an arrest or defend themselves from harm, this can be considered excessive force under the law and you should consult a civil rights lawyer about that officer’s actions.
Most excessive force cases involve issues with police brutality or police shootings, but there are a number of different situations where excessive force may occur during an arrest or detention, including:
- Using weapons
- Excessive use of pepper spray
- Blows to the head
- Kicks and punches
- Using tasers or stun guns
In instances of excessive force, the combination of some kind of bias or racial profiling and weapons or physical force can be a toxic cocktail.
If the police have used excessive force against you or a loved one, it’s important to call a civil rights lawyer immediately. Excessive force can sometimes result in catastrophic injuries or even death. At Fischer Redavid PLLC, we believe that those who commit such acts should be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
We can help you understand your rights and options for filing a claim, as well as prepare your case for litigation and trial. Our Miami civil rights attorneys are prepared to aggressively advocate for you and the justice you deserve.
Unlawful Search & Seizure
For the police to legally search your home or property, they must have probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime on your property. This means that they need to have some reason to suspect that there is something illegal in your home or car before they can conduct a search.
The Fourth Amendment states that no warrants can be issued unless there is probable cause. This means that if an officer does not have probable cause for searching your home or property, then any evidence that they find cannot be admitted in court because it was not legally obtained.
Examples of situations that may constitute an unlawful search and/or seizure include:
- No Warrant: A warrant is a court order that allows police to search your home or office. A search warrant can be issued only if there is probable cause to believe that criminal evidence will be found. If the police do not have a warrant, any items seized during the search may be inadmissible in court.
- Police Failed to Follow Instructions: For instance, if the search warrant allows them to look in your bedroom for illegal drugs, they’re supposed to confine their search to the bedroom only. Any evidence seized outside of the bedroom is not admissible in court because it was obtained illegally by the officers.
- Racial Profiling: You may have been a victim of racial profiling if you were unfairly targeted by the police because of your race or ethnicity. While racial profiling is illegal, it still happens every day. Our civil rights attorneys can help you gather evidence of racial profiling and build a case aimed at securing justice on your behalf.
How to Sue for Civil Rights Violations
It is important that you work with a lawyer who has experience handling civil rights violation cases. Your lawyer can handle complex legal matters on your behalf, allowing you to recover with peace of mind. At Fischer Redavid PLLC, our attorneys will be available to update you about the case and answer any questions you have throughout the legal process.
To sue, your lawyer will file a complaint with a federal or state court or agency, depending on the violation, and wait for the defendant’s team to respond. Pay attention to your state’s deadline for this filing. There are different statutes of limitations (or filing deadlines) for different types of civil rights violations in Florida. For example, you typically have one year to file an employment discrimination lawsuit (in most cases), but a recent law shortens this deadline for certain types of discrimination claims to just 180 or 300 days.
The sooner you act, the better. We encourage you to reach out to our Miami civil rights attorneys right away to discuss your options and learn how our team can assist you with your case.
What to Expect After Suing for a Civil Rights Violation
The liable party may respond with an offer, after which your lawyer will work to negotiate the best outcome for you if the amount is insufficient for your damages. If they don’t respond or the parties fail to come to a consensus, trained and experienced trial lawyers are ready to make your claim in front of a judge or jury.
You can also expect the other side to present defenses, like qualified immunity. You may need a lawyer to help you protect your case against these defenses.
The most common form of compensation you’re likely to receive is compensatory damages, reimbursing your economic and non-economic losses. You may also receive punitive damages depending on your case.
A civil rights violation case may also impose an injunction where the defendant is prohibited from doing something or serving a particular capacity henceforth. If you think your case warrants this, talk to your lawyer about your options.
The first thing that a civil rights lawyer will do is look at the circumstances surrounding your case for evidence. If they find your civil rights were ignored, they can begin working on your case.
In order to hold people accountable for their actions in a civil rights claim, it’s crucial to collect evidence, which can include:
- Eyewitness accounts
- Ignored instructions on a warrant
- Video footage showing an officer using excessive force
- A police report that contains false statements or omissions of facts
It is important that you contact Fischer Redavid PLLC immediately so that we can assist in helping you file a lawsuit. Our experienced staff can review all applicable evidence and let you know what steps should be taken next so that justice can be served appropriately.
Call Our Team If Your Rights Have Been Violated in Any Way
Facing civil rights abuses can be tough, but you don’t have to face them alone. You have an opportunity to seek help from a civil rights lawyer at Fischer Redavid PLLC. Your attorney can help you make the right decisions for your case, from your first discussion until the moment your case is resolved.
We will take the time to discuss what happened, how to hold the guilty party accountable, and if you’re eligible for financial compensation based on the details of your case. We offer all legal services on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay any legal fees unless/until we win your case.
If a state building isn’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you may have grounds for a lawsuit. You should have the same access to needed facilities as a person without disabilities, and filing a lawsuit can help you get justice and reasonable accommodations. Your lawyer can review the specifics of your case and help you determine whether you have a case.
The details of your civil rights claim will change the time limits you face for a civil rights lawsuit. For example, if you’re filing a claim for discrimination under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you may only have 180 days to file a claim. Other claim types may be different.
One thing does stay the same—you need to speak with your lawyer as soon as possible after the civil rights abuse. Your lawyer can help you take advantage of the time you have and file a strong case.
When filing a civil rights complaint, you’ll need to first gather information about your case for your lawyer. Once you’ve determined that you are eligible for a lawsuit, your lawyer will help you file the right forms and paperwork for your case.